Friday, August 31, 2012

Italian Potato Salad

I have covered Potato Salad WAY too many times, There's my girlfriend Brandy's Potato Salad. Which is bacon, ranch and Santa Maria Seasoning. To die for good. There is my Loaded Potato Salad which has everything from bacon, eggs, pickles, and sour cream. Its like a loaded baked potato in a potato salad. And then..I have my Two Mustard Potato Salad. It isnt too mustardy either. Or My Sour Cream Ranch Potato Salad. It is great for potlucks when there will be a couple potato salads there. Or if you are looking for something really different, I love a Warm Potato Salad It goes really well with meaty sandwiches. My all time favorite is my grandmother's Old Fashioned Potato Salad. I don't know if it is exactly how she made it but it is as I remember it.

But every potato salad I make only has gotten an ok rating from The Tortured Teenager. Until THIS one. You see, she preferred STORE BOUGHT potato salad. She liked the vinegar taste it had. It was the one thing I despised about them. They tasted too sweet, too sour. And she loved that about them. And then, one say I had a bright idea while making a pasta salad using an Italian dressing, to use it in a potato salad. I tried, let her taste it and she LOVED IT! So did the entire family for that matter. And it was so easy!!! With Labor Day coming up, this is perfect!!! Give it a try!

Italian Potato Salad
red potatoes 7-10 large ones? chopped
1/2 cup italian dressing
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
3 green onions
1 TB mustard

Boil potatoes in salted water
drain potatoes and set aside. I salt and pepper the potatoes here
Make the Dressing. Mix mayo, sour cream and italian dressing in the bowl you plan on mixing potatoes in
 Add the TB mustard
 Taste and adjust
 Add potatoes and onions.
 Taste one last time. It's a dangerous job

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chipotle Lime Chicken Burger

It pains me that summer is coming to a close. It feels like it really wasn't that warm here once again this summer and August is almost over. In the region we live in, summer comes very late. So when the kids go back to school, it starts to warm it a little. I feel like the kids go back to school WAY too early here. I miss the days when school started the day after Labor Day. I can complain this way NOW that my kids are older. If they were little, I would be griping the other way around, I am sure. 

Tonight's dinner is compliments of Trader Joe's. If you do not have a Trader Joe's, then I am very sorry. We did not have one for the longest time. We would drive once a month to stock up on all the goodies that the grocery stores do not carry that Trader Joe's does. The carry tons of frozen fish and organic veggies. Frozen meats and veggies I have never seen before in a normal grocery store. These burgers I have bought before and cooked but it has been some time. I saw them and thought they would be a nice change. They are Chicken which is nice for my diet. I am trying to lose those last pounds (always but I love to eat!) These are also perfect for Labor Day!

Chipotle Lime Chicken Burger

Chipotle Lime Chicken Burger from Trader Joe's
Hamburger Buns
2 Avocados
2 Tb salsa
1 lime
1 tomato
iceberg lettuce
Cheddar cheese

Take the box out in the morning and place in the frig. They wont completely defrost and that is fine. There is paper between the burgers and it will help you to separate the burgers.

grill the burgers until they are COMPLETELY  cooked. They are chicken so you need to cook them completely.

Make a quick guacamole using 2 avocados and 2 TB salsa. Mash avocado and salsa in a bowl. Squeeze 1 lime over it

 cover them with cheese, tomato, lettuce and guacamole.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tri Tip Burrito Bowls

I'm obsessed with the restaurant Chipotle. We finally got one in our town. I used to drive 30 minutes to eat at one and then the family would argue over whether to eat at a popular burger joint or the Chipotle. So about a year ago I devised a way to make it at home. It's not completely the same but I get my fix. The rice is pretty dead on. It just depends on whether I make home made salsa. Tonight we don't have any of my salsa. There is a riot in the house over it. The 1/2 cup of store bought salsa left in the frig wont suffice. I also didn't make guacamole and only chunked up the avocado. But hey, it was a busy day. Dinner was amazing regardless. Every bowl was empty. I covered how to make the tri tip a week ago. It is too easy.You will be making it for tacos all winter, throwing it over cornbread, or just putting over a french roll. The rice is great alone as a side dish but once you have it in a burrito bowl, you may never go back. When I tell The Fireman we are having Burrito Bowls, I am a gold! Not that I am not anyways.  
First start by making the Rotel Tri Tip. You should put this in the crock pot by noon  
Rotel Tri Tip
1 tri tip (no tri tip? then use a pot roast)
1 can rotel
santa maria seasoning or garlic salt and pepper
1 TB vegetable oil/canola oil

heat oil on medium high in a cast iron pan
season roast with seasoning and pepper
Season it good
Brown all sides of the meat
I love Rotel. Feel free Rotel to show me some love
stick the rotel in a blender and puree
Make sure you get all sides brown
This is like salsa now
brown even the sides
Into the hot mean crock pot
Cover with the rotel
Cook on high for a good three hours if it is a tri tip, maybe four if it is a pot roast. A for should be able to pull the meat apart.
I started it at 12:27 and knew it would be ready for an early sandwich around 4.
The pups agree!! These are my Boxer pups Lucy and Louie!
This is what you get!

Take out and shred with  two forks
Put meat back in Crock Pot with all the juices. This will keep it moist plus I dish some of the juices up with the meat. So yummy! Thirty Minutes before serving start the rice.
Cilantro Lime Rice
2 cups rinsed basmati or jasmine rice
3 cups water
1/4 cup cilantro minced
1 lime juiced (unless juicy then use half)
2 TB butter I am using Jasmine rice. It needs to be rinsed. Put it in a strainer and rince under cold water until the water runs clear. Otherwise it will be too sticky. Dump into the rice cooker
Add water
And butter. I just sliced it. You could melt it, but why bother, you are going to toss it all later.
Click Cook. It is that simple. Even I cant mess this up.
Once it is cooked, Squeeze the lime over the hot rice
And add the chopped cilantro. We love cilantro in this house. I find that you either love it or hate it. Toss all together

Add Rice first to a bowl. Be generous  
Then Add Black Beans. You could do pinto beans
Then add meat and add some of the yummy liquid.

  Garnish with cheese, salsa, and avocado! It's best when you stir it all up!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Green Pork Enchiladas

Chili Verde is probably my all time favorite Mexican dish. If you've ever made it home made you know it's a labor of love. Not hard but time consuming. Normally when I have a pork roast I use the left overs for pulled pork sandwiches. This time we started out making pulled pork sandwiches so my left overs were obviously not going to be that again. My first choice was enchiladas. I don't have a ton of meat. But I'm hoping I have enough for this meal. The flavors mimic chili verde and I'm craving it.
Pork green enchiladas3 cups pork (I am using leftover pulled pork)
1 can green enchillada sauce
2 cups cheese (I am using jack but cheddar or mozzarella would work)
1 cup light sour cream
1 package tortillas (I am using flour but corn would be tasty too)
avocado to garnish

This is even the bowl the leftover pork was in which is perfect for mixing the sour cream and cheese.
I prefer to grate the cheese myself. I think it just tastes fresher.
put about a cup or a huge handful. Yes that is how I measure
And about a cup of sour cream
I'm using light to ease my conscience and because I am still trying to lose those last pounds. I blame my family for making me cook.
Mix well. Sometimes I taste it for quality control but I dont have much this time. So I am going to have to have to hope that the million of times I have made it serves me well
This baby is from my Grandparents house. I have looked EVERYWHERE to buy more. I want to buy a ton. They just dont sell them any more. It has a magnet and all! It is great for punching holes on the top of the can and keeping the mess down on the enchilada can. Well sorta
Pour a ton on the bottom of the pan. You wont have enough. You could dirty another pie pan for this process but why bother.
Louie agrees but doesnt know why.
Ok so dip the tortilla until it is well covered
I hate a dry enchilada. Again you could do this in a pie plate but it is just more mess
take three scoops of filling and then roll the enchilada up
repeat until pan is filled or you run out of meat
cover with remaining cheese
cover with remaining sauce. Bake uncovered 350 degrees 30 minutes
Let sit for ten minutes before cutting into. I never make it a full ten minutes
My favorite is the crunchy edges
While you are waiting slice up a couple avocados and squeeze a lime over it
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